Shakespeare I
Graduate School Fall Semester 2004 Thursday 2-5pm
Brother Anthony, An Sonjae

  To gain a fuller understanding of Shakespeare's work, we will study some major plays. All classes will be in English. In the weeks devoted to each play, we will go through the text, focussing on some parts in greater detail.
  In the Discussions, students who make fuller presentations should bring to the class several critics' ideas about important aspects of the plays under discussion, with a handout to help students follow the presentation. Do not summarize the plot.
  The Arden editions will be used for every play and each student must have read the play set for study each week. The section in the Introduction dealing with the play itself, and the section on the sources,  should be read before any other critical studies.

A plot-summary of each play is available through the links below. The questions after each title indicate the main topics for class discussion that each student should think about in advance.

Week 1 Introduction: Backgrounds and Critical approaches to Shakespeare
Week 2  History play: Richard II 
Week 3  History play: Henry V 
Week 4  Discussions: How tragic a figure is Richard? How is the political mechanicsof the coup d'etat dramatized? How heroic a figure is Henry V? How much tension is there between the words of the Chorus and the action of the play?
Week 5  Romantic tragedy: Romeo and Juliet
Week 6  Comedy: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Week 7  Discussions: Do the children (R&J) have to die? What is the play's view of Love? How much near-tragedy is there in MND? Is the play's structure in any sense a unity? Why did Shakespeare introduce fairies?
Week 8  Tragedy: Hamlet
Week 9  Discussion: Is Hamlet a 'revenge tragedy'? What are Hamlet's main characteristics? Comment on the female characters.
Week 10 Tragedy: Macbeth
Week 11 Tragedy: King Lear 
Week 12 Discussions: What does Macbeth suggest about ambition and betrayal of trust? Is Lear a political play or a soap opera? Does Cordelia need to die?
Week 13 Late comedy: Twelfth Night
Week 14 Late romance: The Tempest
Week 15 Discussions: Which aspects of TN demand critical study? Is cross-dressing comic? How does the play represent women? Is Prospero a tyrant or a loving father? Do you sympathize with Caliban? If so, why? Why is The Tempest called a 'romance'? (EXAM)

Students must read the chapter on Shakespeare in Brother Anthony's " Literature in English Society: The Renaissance " book during the vacation, and should also read the most important parts of the Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies.

Dieter Mehl's Shakespeare's Tragedies: an Introduction (Cambridge) is most helpful on the tragedies. Equally helpful as an introduction is Alexander Leggatt's English Drama: Shakespeare to the Restoration, 1590-1660 (Longman) and The Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance Drama edited by Braunmuller and Hattaway.

Written Assignments: at the end of the semester each student will submit for evaluation:
(1) A Term Journal in English, with entries for each play studied, recording (1) your personal preparatory notes on the play and the questions for each week, (2) Notes on important points made during class by Br Anthony and the other students. (3) A concluding note summarizing your view of the play.
(2) A lengthy term paper (15 or more pages) in English discussing the critical interpretation of any 3 plays among those studied in class that you feel can meaningfully be brought together because of theme, genre, structure, or critical approach. Spent much time proposing an overall reading of each play separately.

Each student's class presentations and class participation will influence the final grade. There will also be an hour-long exam to test students' memory of the details of the plays studied at the start of the final class. All this together will have as much weight as the Term Journal (25% each) in calculating the final grade. The term paper will account for the other 50%.